This site has been online for a few months now, but I thought it would be an interesting topic for the local forum. It lets anyone set up a 'social network' (scary!). Also has applications as a tool on which groups can build out and share their content (classifieds, pictures, useless information, etc.).
Certainly has the potential to impact local search and local marketing in general, but I am not sure people will really get it. It seems to be blogging, social networks, and Google Base all jammed together. Those concepts individually are still confusing to most people - put them together and you start to confuse even the more seasoned internet user.
Yeah, Ning.com is hard to grok. I joined as a developer but something that confuses me is what the licensing arrangement is.
-If I create an app, I own it, according to Ning, but if I piece it together from PHP on Ning's site, all of which is open source but proprietary, what can I do with the new app? Can I run it on a separate server or do I need to use it in the so-called playground?
-Are the apps really open source in that they can be cloned and used wherever somebody wants to use them or do all apps have to stay on the Ning servers (where third party ads are banned)?